What happened to Christmas Vacation actress, Nicolette Scorsese, and where is she now?

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Born 6 January 1954, former American actress Nicolette Scorsese is an ex-model and actor who gained fame after starring in the films “Boxing Helena” and Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation”. She owned hearts with her performances in these films, as a result of this, although it’s been more than 20 years since she last acted, she is still remembered and celebrated.

In addition to being a model and actress back in the day, Nicolette was famous for her association with fellow film star Sean Penn, whom she dated briefly. Furthermore, Nicolette also shares a last name with the legendary film director, Martin Scorsese. As such, many fans have been interested in knowing if they are related?

Showbiz is like every other aspect of human existence. Sometimes, not everyone who begins the race gets to the finish line. Many people start their career in entertainment with sparks and great promise but end up not making it too far. This is the case with the beautiful Nicolette Scorsese.

Despite starting bright and registering a couple of good performances, Nicolette’s acting career didn’t go all the way. As of the time of writing this article, she hadn’t acted in over 21 years. However, very interesting is the recognition and love her name still commands among film lovers till today. It is because, in her brief time in the industry, she made and left long-lasting impressions.

The commonly asked question about her these days is her whereabouts and what she does now. In this article, we will try to answer as many questions about Nicolette as possible. For starters, see these ten facts about her.

10 Nicolette Scorsese facts

  1. If you’ve ever wondered if she is related to director Martin Scorsese, the answer is no. The rumour may have been partly fueled by the fact that they share a common last name and have worked together before.
  2. Her role as Mary, the girl behind the counter in “Christmas Vacation”, is her most significant and most endearing role. Though she appeared in other roles after that, it remains the one that people remember her for.
  3. Nicolette has not been on a film set in 21 years. She quietly stepped back and hardly even appears at events. Her last public sighting was at an art show in 2006.
  4. The former actress dated Jellybean Benitez, the Italian-American actor and politician, while working as a model back in 1989.
  5. Nicolette briefly dated Academy Award Winner Sean Penn back in the day. Also, in the 1990s, she was seen on various occasions with musician Billy Duffy.
  6. There were rumours that she shared a daughter, Shiloh Duffy, with Billy, but the couple never confirmed this, and after years of dating, they broke up.
  7. Before her relationship with Sean Penn, the actress was also in a short-lived relationship with Antonio Sabato Jr., an actor and model.
  8. While Nicolette was not so famous for her acting expertise, the gorgeous hourglass figure she displayed while wearing black lace lingerie in the film “Boxing Helena” left quite an impression.
  9. The now 67-year-old Nicolette is in no known relationship. Neither did she get married at any point.
  10. She is estimated to have a net worth of $300,000, as reported by several sources.

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Early life and education

Nicolette grew up with her parents and siblings in the US. From a young age, she always wanted to be a model and actress, and she began to pursue this with the full support of her parents. There is, however, no detailed information about her family background and childhood.

Details about her education are also not available, but we found that Scorsese obtained a high school diploma.


She began her career in the entertainment world as a model. Initially, she started appearing in television advertisements and commercials. This catapulted her career, and soon enough, she was getting acting roles in films.

Nicolette Scorsese landed her first on-screen gig on NBC’s action TV series “The A-Team” in 1985. The action series followed four Vietnam vets, framed for a crime they did not commit, as they make a run for their lives and end up saving innocent people along the way. Scorsese had a minor role as Cindy in the series alongside some Hollywood stars like George Peppard, Tim Dunigan, and more.

In 1987, the then-rising actress bagged her second TV role, playing Louise on the CBS sitcom “Charles in Charge”. The project starred Scott Baio, Willie Aames, and Julie Cobb. A year later, she appeared in “Perfect Victims”, a horror/thriller about a psycho who blames women for his AIDS. He begins to stalk and kill beautiful women as revenge. Scorsese played the role of one of these beautiful women named Melissa Cody. It wasn’t until 1989 that Nicolette got her big break.

Mary – Christmas Vacation

Nicolette Scorsese as Mary in Christmas Vacation
As Mary in Christmas Vacation

National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation” is a 1989 American Christmas comedy film. It is the third instalment in the National Lampoon magazine’s vacation film series. John Hughes wrote the film and based it on “Christmas ’59”, his short story published in National Lampoon.

The movie follows the antics of the Griswold family, who plan to have the perfect holiday. Their perfect plans are, however, ruined by a cousin who relocates his camper to their property. They also have to deal with their employer’s refusal to pay an agreed Christmas bonus. In the movie, Scorsese plays a sexy departmental store clerk whom the protagonist (Clark Griswold) fantasizes about.

After The National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation”, Nicolette Scorsese went on to appear in a couple of minor roles in movies such as “Aspen Extreme” (1993), “I’ll Do Anything” (1994), “Girls in Prison” (1994) and “Boxing Helena” (1993). She was also featured in TV series such as “NYPD Blues”, “ER”, “Charles in Charge”, “L.A Law”, and more.

Although her acting career was short-lived, Nicolette didn’t fail to leave a mark in people’s hearts and minds, having appeared in at least five films and several TV series in her career, which lasted over a decade. In 2000, she silently slipped from the Hollywood limelight, stepping down from her acting career after several failed projects.

Personal life

Nicolette, however unmarried, had quite an eventful relationship life in her days. She dated several celebrities, starting from 1988 when she was rumoured to be involved with Italian actor and politician Jellybean Benitez. However, the couple went their separate ways after a short while.

Nicolette first public relationship was with “Milk” actor Sean Penn, during the 1990s. The duo first appeared together at the first annual International Rock Awards at New York State Armory in 1989. However, not much was heard or seen of them afterwards, and it soon became public knowledge that they had split.

Nicolette Scorsese: Mary Christmas Vacation, Martin Scorsese, net worth
Nicolette with Sean Pen

Also read: Camila Cabello “Cinderella” movie reviews.

That same year, Nicolette outdated model Antonio Sabato Jr., an affair they started after meeting with him while pursuing her modelling career. The relationship did not go far either, and they parted ways before long.

Musician Billy Duffy was another celebrity Nicolette was involved with. There were speculations that the couple had a child together by the name of Shiloh Duffy. Neither of them confirmed the rumour, though. Their relationship lasted a while but didn’t lead to anything concrete eventually.

Billy Duffy

According to many sources, Nicolette has remained single for quite a while and there are no signs of involvement with anyone yet.

Are Nicolette Scorsese and Martin Scorsese related?

It goes without saying that due to the surname Nicolette shares with legendary director Martin Scorsese, people readily think they are related. It doesn’t help that they also worked together in the past. The two are, however, not related or linked personally in any way.

Some may think Nicolette is or has once been Martin’s wife, but that is incorrect also. Martin has been married five different times, and Nicolette was never one of his wives. It is just another case of Hollywood folks having the same surname.

Martin Scorsese spouse

78-year-old Martin Scorsese is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. One of the major figures of the New Hollywood era, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential directors in film history. Scorsese’s body of work explores themes such as Italian-American identity, Catholic concepts of guilt and redemption, faith, machismonihilism, crime and sectarianism. Many of his films are known for their depiction of violence and the liberal use of profanity.

Martin tried his hands at marriage five times before eventually getting it right. He got married for the first time in 1965 to Laraine Marie Brennan, and the union lasted six years. After their divorce in 1971, Martin waited another five years before trying again. In 1976 he tied the knot with Julia Cameron, but the marriage ended within a year.

Martin Scorsese spouse and net worth
Martin Scorsese

He married Isabella Rossellini and Barbara De Fina before eventually getting married to his current spouse, Helen Schermerhorn Morris.

Latest news — where is Nicolette Scorsese now?

As earlier stated, Nicolette has led a quiet life away from the limelight since quitting Hollywood. She was last seen at an event 15 years ago. Resultantly, there is not much known about her whereabouts or what she currently does. It is believed that she took an interest in the arts and was spotted at art exhibitions after leaving acting.

Nicolette Scorsese net worth

The estimated net worth of Nicolette, being a former actress and model, is around $300,000. It is quite possible that she makes money from her newfound love, arts.


Not every journey goes or ends as desired. Nicolette’s dream to be a model and actor kicked off but lost steam along the way. However, she did just about enough to keep her name relevant in the film industry. Not bad if you ask me. Thankfully, fulfilment is not limited to only one path, and we hope she has found some of it in her journey.

You may also like to read our latest article, See what happened when Minnie Driver met ex, Matt Damon, first time in 20 years.

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